Nienna (Quenya [niˈenna] or Third Age Middle-earth [niˈjenna]; 'She who weeps') was an Ainu, one of the Queens of the Valar and one of the Aratar. She was the sister of Mandos and Irmo and had no spouse. Her part in the Music of the Ainur was one of deep sadness, from which grief entered the world at its beginning. She had dominion over the Halls of Nienna, which were on the western edge of Valinor, looking over the sea.
Nienna was concerned with mourning, and she pitied the suffering of others, especially the Marring of Arda by Melkor. Her tears brought healing; they flowed to quicken the Two Trees, which then brought forth their last flower and fruit after their poisoning. Yet the lesson of Nienna is not of endless grief, but rather of pity, hope, and the endurance of the spirit. Olorin (Gandalf) was her greatest pupil, but she comforted all who dwell in the Halls of Awaiting. She taught Gandalf pity and many other things before he was sent by the Valar to oppose Sauron in Middle-earth.
The pity of Nienna is most clearly seen in her support for Melkor when he sued for the pardon of the Valar. Though she spent her time in the world mourning for the destruction he had wreaked in Arda, when he sued for release after his three ages of Captivity, Nienna spoke on his bahalf.
Earlier versions of the LegendariumEdit
In The Book of Lost Tales 1, a character similar to Nienna was called Fui (Night), the Death-Goddess. In Gnomish she was Fuil, the Queen of the Dark. She dwelt in halls that bore her name, and had a roof of bats' wings. Heskil (Winter One) and Núri (One who Sighs) were her names as well. She was also called Qalme-Tari (Mistress of Death). As Fui she was the spouse of Vefantur (Mandos in Tolkien's later writings) and dwelt in his halls of Ve. She judged the female elves while Vefantur judged the male elves.
Similarly, Vairë was an elven storyteller in Tolkien's early writings, but in his later writings Vairë was the wife of Mandos and was responsible for weaving the story of the World.
|Ainur of Arda|
|Ainulindalë (Music of the Ainur)|
|Lords of the Valar:||Manwë | Aulë | Oromë | Irmo (Lórien) | Námo (Mandos) | Tulkas | Ulmo|
|Queens of the Valar (The Valier):|| |
Varda | Yavanna | Vána | Estë | Vairë | Nessa | Nienna
|Lord of the Valar (The Enemy):|| |
Morgoth (a.k.a. Melkor)
Eönwë | Ilmarë | Ossë | Uinen | Salmar | Melian | Arien | Tilion | Curumo (Saruman) | Olórin (Gandalf) | Aiwendil (Radagast) | Alatar (Morinehtar) | Pallando (Rómestámo)
|Maiar (Enemies):||Sauron | Gothmog | Durin's Bane | Ungoliant | Curumo (Saruman)|